Scottish scaffolder launches 'premium' vodka brand

A Glasgow scaffolding & building contractor has swapped hard hats for bottle caps, launching an ultra-premium vodka and flavoured vodka brand, Blur 69, already snapped up by MTV as the official MTV Europe Music Awards Green Room sponsor in Düsseldorf in November last year.

William Woodburn founded the business in 2021 after he noticed the shortage of labour within the scaffolding industry, driving him to set up a business in a growth sector. Revenue in the Vodka segment amounts to £2.7bn in 2022 in the UK, with the market expected to grow annually by 17.57 per cent.

With a target market of 18–28 year-olds, Blur 69 has secured partnerships with over 40 retail outlets and 20 on-trade locations including bars, clubs, hotels and pubs across the west of Scotland.

Five employees work for the brand which is expecting substantial growth throughout 2023 from event hosting and additional sponsorships.

Part of drinks group Clyde Whisky Ltd, established by William in 2018, Blur 69 vodka is triple distilled in Scotland combining quality grain and water before a bespoke filtration system purifies it to the highest degree. Working closely with one of the best known drinks chemical engineering groups, Blur 69’s flavoured vodkas combine natural ingredients to create bursts of flavours.

Founder William Woodburn left the army in 2012 to start his own company while undertaking a modern adult apprenticeship as a plumber and gas engineer. By 2021 he managed over 80 people, handling scaffolding and trades contracts for a number of building suppliers.

William said: “I really enjoyed the industry but rising costs alongside labour shortages were becoming increasingly challenging and so the time felt right to try my hand at something completely new.

“Before I set up Clyde Whisky, I knew nothing about the drinks industry but once I’ve made up my mind I want to master something, I won’t quit until I’ve perfected it. Whisky was my first foray into the market but I saw an opportunity to create something different with Blur69.

“People are looking for variety and innovation in flavours which is exactly what we aim to deliver. Pineapple, blue raspberry and watermelon flavoured vodkas are available now, with new expressions coming over the next few months.”

Flavoured vodkas sales in the UK are forecast to have a steady increase over the next few years and a 25 per cent increase by 2025.

William added: “Sponsoring the MTV EMA’s was an incredible experience and to see the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Ava Max and Bebe Rexha drinking our product was a real ‘pinch-me’ moment. We also have an established partnership with local DJ Cassi from Clyde 1 Radio hosting drinks receptions for MISBERAVIN’ events.

“The vision is to be one of the well-known premium vodka brands on the market - a high quality product that gives people good value for their hard earned cash.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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